Find Out Why 51-Year-Old Gouri of Karnataka Was Named ‘Lady Bhagiratha’

Nobody has as much determination as this lady

Unlike a fraction of people on the planet, not everybody is privileged enough to get a steady supply of freshwater every day without interruption, even though 96.5 per cent of the Earth is covered with water. Some fail to fulfill the shortage of water in their lives and succumb to illnesses and thirst, while others direct all their hard work and determination to obtain this precious resource for enriching their lives.

Lady Bhagiratha Single-Handedly Managed to Bring Water from Under the Earth

This is the story of one lady, Gouri S. Naik from Ganesh Nagar, Sirsi Taluk, Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. With her unwavering dedication, she acquired the title ‘Lady Bhagiratha’, accorded to her by her kith and kin. So, what extraordinary feat did this ordinary woman accomplish you ask, that made her worthy of this title? Gouri is a 51-year old woman who displayed to her village and to the world that she is much younger in spirit. She managed to single-handedly dig a 60-feet deep well in just 3 months with absolutely no help or support from anybody. While the rest of us constantly complain of sore backs and headaches after spending 8 hours before a computer screen, Gouri spent 3 months digging for about 5-6 hours each day. Each day she would descend four feet into the Earth. This she did alone on her own. It was only at the end that she sought the help of 3 women for shifting mud. Her efforts finally paid off at 60 feet when 7 feet of water was found.

Gouri belongs to a remote village where people cannot afford to pay for manpower. But she refused to give in to the play of destiny by becoming the manpower she sought, herself. Despite being a daily wage labourer and a mother, it is quite surprising to note that Gouri managed to grow around 150 Areca trees, 15 Coconut trees, and a few Banana trees around her home. To create a regular supply of water for these coconut and areca plants, the idea of building a well came into her mind. It was precisely this grit that led the people of the village to perceive her as befitting the title of Lady Bhagiratha. If you must know, Bhagirath was a king who brought down the Ganges River from the heavens to the earth. The village folk have truly accorded Gouri the highest honour by calling her ‘Lady Bhagirath’.

Gouri’s list of accomplishments does not end here. She is also a member of the Dharmasthala Rural Development Scheme. When the DRD Scheme officer Vinoda was quizzed by the media regarding Gouri’s accomplishment, he said, “When Gouri came to the meeting, she would complain about body ache. But we did not know about her work in digging a well. It was only when we visited her home that we found out what she was doing. Although at Gouri’s age, most people are referred to as old, she has shown that the human soul does not age as long as it is fuelled by the fire of passion and love towards all beings. Gouri’s love towards her trees inspired her to accomplish this great feat.

When You’re Strong from the Inside, Miracles Happen on the Outside

We learn two lessons from this story of Lady Bhagiratha, Gouri. One, to be Self-Reliant and Self-Confident as much as possible when faced with difficulties. Two, Never Give Up no matter what hardships you face. When an individual is self-confident and exceptionally determined, external factors such as gender, age, money, etc. become insignificant. Gouri is an inspiration to every woman in India who feels helpless and trapped in a man’s world.

 

Written By: Anju V. Nambiar

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